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Feb 16, 2013 12:41 AM

Jacques Genin - limited pastry items?

My niece just told me that Genin's shop now only carries 2 pastry selections each day. This is heartbreaking news!

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  1. I read a few weeks ago that he decided to focus on chocolates and caramels.

    1. Better than nothing. Rumors had it recently that they weren't going to carry any pastry at all anymore.

      1. Is he still doing his wonderful chocolat chaud ?

        1. I heard that he is only making (mille feuille & Paris-Brest only) pastries to order for guests in the salon; that he will accept orders only for larger-sized pastries that feed 4 or more; and that basically his whole staff left. Not sure what to believe. All I know is that I am sad that I cannot eat that tarte citron again. At least I have his book with the recipe for it. Pic# 213 is for you, Deluca!

          12 Replies
          1. re: pastrychica

            Do you mean l have lost tarte citron, chocolat chaud, and Arthur as well, This is terrible!

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Have you tried the tarte citron at Pain de Sucre? I actually prefer it.

              1. re: Nancy S.

                I do too. Is the best I've tried in Paris, with Carl Marletti making second best.
                What I will miss is Jacques's apple tart and caramel-honey-walnut tart. These were incredible, and he had spent two years perfecting the apple tart before putting it on the shelves a few months ago.

                1. re: Ptipois

                  Thanks for the tip on the tart citrons, for sure need to try those. Regarding apples - i ate there a year ago a pastry made of thin carmelized layers of apples, is this actually the apple tart ? It was the best item i had there, and i tried most of the offerings they had there then.. Came back to take apple pastries almost daily :-) Lemon tarts were very good but i'm sure more places in the city have good ones, and caramels were for sure nice for caramels but too expensive, and still it is caramels.. His chocolates were if i remember correctly, the most expensive i saw in Paris, maybe towards 120 E per kilo ? I can understand higher prices when using fillings that lean more toward "single origin" and "special chocolate sources", probably, which seemed the case looking at Genin's showcase, but i for sure preffered Patrick Roger's work and prices - around 90 something E per kilo.
                  Am i right with the estimated chocolate prices at Genin's place ? Interesting that his approach now is to concentrate on the chocolates.. Not sure it will make me really looking forward to visit the store, especially when the caramels are not a factor also.. I guess that eventually the staff issues are the sole reason for the change, right ? Cause otherwise either the choco and caramels business are that good to concentrate on them, or the official explanation is quite a lousy one :-) Anyways it's a shame, will miss that apple pastry stuff..

                  1. re: oferl

                    btw haven't seen Colorova mentioned here, saw some info about it, anyone tried ?

                    1. re: oferl

                      I'm a fan of the caramels -- for me they're the "best" I've eaten in Paris (although I like only the plain and vanilla varieties). I'm prone to making a special trip just for those, and buying a few at a time. But they are expensive. Nevertheless, nothing I have tried in New York compares.

                      1. re: Nancy S.

                        They are for sure the best caramels i've tried, but caramels are not high in my sweets list so i didn't try much, chocolate is for sure a much more attractive option for me. I make sometime at home pdfs and caramels and it's pretty easy to create very nice stuff - actually there are on the web some pretty interesting and really good "clones" on Genin's caramels, that worked for me not bad in the best.. I think that even hints from the master himself were available in some french or english sources in the past..
                        And if you mentioned New York and chocolate - last visit a couple of months ago, was really dissappointing in the choco front, i'm not sure that there are really great chocolate pralin makers currently.. And actually pastries front was also not that "bright" - tried the much discussed Dominic Ansel and nothing too impressive there, i think that in Paris, it would have been another small neighborhoody place, probably one of many and not a pastries "temple", in my opinion :-)

                        1. re: oferl

                          My impression was that Dominic Ansel was dumbing down some recipes according to American taste, or what was believed, right or wrong, to be American taste. Therefore the kouign-amann was not a kouign-amann, and the gâteau battu was not a gâteau battu. Such things can also happen in Paris, for instance at La Pâtisserie des Rêves where the kouign-amann is not a kouign-amann either.

                          1. re: Ptipois

                            I see, that is a very interesting point, if indeed Ansel is twiking flavours to "American taste". We tried most of the shop items cause we were a large party, and i was quite dissappointed with everything, nothing too memorable.

                      2. re: oferl

                        Yes, that was the apple tart I was referring to.

                    2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      Salon de the still there. You can still get your chocolat chaud. :)

                  2. Sigh... how we suffer in Paris, no? With Genin whittling down to just millefeuilles, I suppose we will have to make do with Pâtisserie des Rêves, Arnaud Delmontel, Laurent Duchêne, Bread & Roses, Pain de Sucre, Gerard Mulot, Carl Merletti, Café Pouchkine, Pierre Hermé, Hugo & Victor, Des Gâteaux et du Pain, Un Dimanche à Paris, Pain de Sucre, Sadaharu Aoki, etc etc etc etc for our mouth-watering award-winning pastries ...some of us might even be obliged to resort to Ladurée, Lenôtre, Dalloyau, or Angelina.

                    13 Replies
                    1. re: Parnassien

                      What was interesting about Genin was his particular style, which others do not have. He is the only one who refuses to rely on tons of sugar, gelatin, texture agents and emulsifiers to help the thingies hold together and make it through the day on the shelf, or even make it from the factory terminal or distant lab to the shop. Hence the freshness and clarity of taste of his pastries, and their lightness on the stomach. Hence also the small number of each type of pastry at any given time on the shelf, waiting to be replaced every hour or so by fresh stuff from the lab upstairs. People who liked to visit Genin won't necessarily care to replace him with other options since there's nothing similar.

                      Marletti also works on this basis of freshness (with his lab right behind the shop) and Pain de Sucre has top-quality stuff, but some in your mixed-bag selection are technically and gustatorily as far from Genin as one can possibly be.

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        Technically, Genin is perhaps unique. On a less rationalized and more personal taste level, maybe not. Despite not having sampled every pastry confected by every pâtissier in Paris, I can say that I have never found one single pâtisserie (including Genin's) whose entire product line tastes better than all others.

                        1. re: Parnassien

                          Nobody wrote that it was a matter of entire product line, cake by cake. I for one thing wrote above that I liked Pain de Sucre's tarte au citron better than Genin's. My global observation still stands. His pastries are definitely different from the current "deco" trend, some drastically so.

                          1. re: Ptipois

                            Genin's flan was also quite good -- lovely pastry and wonderful use of vanilla in the custard. On the other hand, I wasn't a fan of his pastry cream used in the mille feuille -- to me it was too thick and a bit pasty.

                            1. re: Ptipois

                              I had the tarte au citron from Pain de Sucre yesterday for the first time. It was truly excellent. Even after sitting in my fridge for 8 hours, the crust was still perfect. It will be my consolation for Genin not making them, plus it's a shorter walk.

                              Unfortunately, I cannot be so positive about anything of the other crusts I tried at Pain du Sucre, all from the salé side next door.

                              If I were feeling generous, I'd give the croissant a B-. Really, it wasn't worth eating at all until I got home and heated up the 3/4ths I had not eaten. Then it moved up to the B-. (See my note below about croissants.)

                              The pâte feuilletée stuffed with ground pork and dried fruits was also only salvageable after reheating in the oven. In fairness, the server did warn me it needed reheating. On the other hand, that filling was an odd combination as they made it. I did not care for it.

                              The best of the salés was a small bread (like a tiny hot dog roll but much better) stuffed with ham and spinach. The roll and the filling were good.

                              Note about my standard of comparison for croissants: Around 4+ hours ago I bought a croissant at Pierre Hermé near pl St. Sulpice. It sat in a bag until I took it out 5 minutes ago. With no reheating, it still had a perfect, flaky texture, crumbs dropping everywhere.

                              And the buttery taste, not overly greasy, is also just perfectly balanced. That is my A+. I know from experienced that if I put it in a plastic bag overnight and reheated it tomorrow for breakfast, it would still be an A.

                              1. re: RandyB

                                On the basis of this thread l went to P de sucre for the first time for the tarte au citron which here has been vaulted as equal or better than Genin. l have never thought that because l like something it is better than anyone else, it is that my tasting apparatus is different than another persons and as a result l might like A better than B.
                                This case is different, the tarte au citron at Genin has a crust that shatters when you eat it as the filling has been in it for a very little time. the lemon creme to me is fresh and has two types of lemon/lemon rind in it that gives it a unique double flavor. OK, now to PD Sucre. The filling had a crust of dried cream on the top, and the pastry bent on it own. This puppy had been sitting a very long time and at 6 euros a pop, this is totally non-acceptable.Later l started the second of the two tarts l purchased. The crust on this one was stellar and the creme had no crust but still the flavor of the creme was IMVHO not as 'lemony' as Genin and far sweeter, not too bad though.
                                if l have to order 4 at Genin, so be it, will gladly.

                                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                  Similar experience with the ("deux")millefeuilles at Pierre Hermé, a place I really love for croissants. The top crust was perfect. The other crusts were very good, but had lost their lightness from sitting a while. That never happens at Genin,where they are assembled to order.

                                  The filling I found a bit heavier and more sweet than at Genin. My personal taste preference is Genin. Ditto on the lemon tart filling at Genin compared to PdSucre. I like the lemon tarts at Hermé very much, too.

                                  1. re: RandyB

                                    Genin is more lime than lemon, though. I prefer lemon. My new favorite is the lemon tart from Carl Marletti.

                                  2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                    So 4 pcs is the minimum for the tarte citron ? Info on quantity for apple tart ? And how is it suppose to go, can i drop over and place an order and then collect it same day, or i have to do it at least a day in advance ? Will be glad to get info on that..

                            2. re: Ptipois

                              Petitpois, I am totally with you on your comments about Genin.

                              On two points further up:

                              1. I never liked caramels until I visited the old atelier of JG. He had just finished perfecting his mango passionfruit. I was an immediate convert.

                              2. Did I understand correctly that the millefeuilles will still be sold but only as "larger-sized pastries that feed 4 or more?" It's hard enough to share a Genin millefeuille between two. Cutting one into 4 portions would need a laser knife to avoid a total catastrophe. Nonetheless, I will solicit 3 hounds to join me during the last two weeks of March to order one.

                              1. re: RandyB

                                I may be incorrect, but I thought I read that you can have a single Mille Feuille to consume seated at the shop. I'll be back in a few weeks as well to confirm.